As I write this, I must admit to being a little nervous about how the opening will go; part of me dreads being there for fear of not being understood. There will be speeches made by the high-ups of the Boston artworld, and people will want to talk to me about my work and I wont know what to say. My fear is that I will shrivel and mumble and talk gibberish.
Then I tell myself perhaps it wont be that bad; I was anxious before the Harvard day and my fears melted away when I met the people there who said they were honoured to meet me, and that they had admired my work for years. So maybe it will be OK today, but I am still worried. If Lucy were to telephone and say I am not needed (actually I was told that by one gallery many years ago, that artists just get in the way at openings and invite all their friends, which is partly true I think), I would say “thank you” and go for a walk. But that would be cowardly.
I do this as a way of communicating. I cant sing, I am not much good as a dancer, I have tried to play the piano but struggle, but I can play and improvise and place clay and colour in an original way. And as it is a way of communicating, then surely I must want to continue the dialogue with those who understand? “But what if they don’t?” comes the fearful voice.
I will have to trust – just as I trust when I do the work in the first place – that whatever happens will be OK. If I am attached to wanting some sort of particular outcome, then I am just making it hard for myself. So maybe I can enjoy the opening by not being attached to having to be understood or admired. Yes, I think I can do that, as an observer of the human condition. And I do like my own work myself – I am very pleased indeed with it, so it will be fun to go and see it again and to share a glass of wine with some new friends.
Sandy Brown is an internationally renowned ceramicist who lives and works in North Devon. She is the Art Advisor at Resurgence magazine.
Find out more about Sandy Brown: http://www.sandybrownarts.com/sandybrownarts.htm
Visual Jazz exhibition takes place at Lacoste Gallery from 16 July to 3 August 2011